Pod Point and British Gas launch flexible charging trial

British Gas and Pod Point have announced a trial scheme that aims to balance EV charging demand and give drivers cheaper electricity bills.

The six-month scheme will use electric vehicles as ‘flexible assets’ to help manage energy consumption and shift demand. More than 2,000 Pod Point owners who get their energy from British Gas have signed up for the trial.

British Gas will use data on grid demand to encourage customers to postpone charging at high demand times and charge at times of lower usage via its Demand Side Response (DSR) platform. Those who follow the suggested charging patterns will be rewarded with up to £50 off their bill.

The power supplier says that EV charging flexibility will play a ‘pivotal’ role in supporting widespread adoption of EVs and renewable energy as well as managing grid imbalances. Its parent company, Centrica, already operates one of the UK’s largest virtual power plants that aggregates energy flexibility from various sources to provide a more dynamic approach to managing demand and supply across the grid.

It believes that by 2030, smart charging in the transport sector could provide up to 6GW of flexible energy capacity and the trial will provide data on how electric cars interact with the energy system and help establish new rules on wider integration of EVs in the grid balancing mechanism.

Commenting on the trial, Pilgrim Beart, VP of Pod Point’s grid business unit, said: “The partnership with Centrica aligns with Pod Point’s goal to continue driving innovation in EV charging. This trial forms part of our commitment to energy flexibility and we believe it will showcase the immense potential of EV charging as a significant source of flexibility in the market. We also believe flexibility will play a pivotal role in supporting the widespread adoption of EVs and renewables in the longer term.”

Stavros Sachinis, demand side response director from Centrica added: “By optimising EV charging we’re aiming to provide our customers with greater control over their energy usage and costs while also accelerating the journey towards a greener future.

“This is in addition to our recently launched market-leading SmartCharge service that charges EV’s when energy is at its cheapest during that charging session offering customers the chance to access a cheap charging rate while also helping to manage demand on the grid.”

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.